2013 MLB Fantasy Baseball Preview

Let me just start off by saying that I know next to nothing about the current state of Major League Baseball. I was once a big fan, but have failed to follow it whatsoever for a few years now. For better or worse, this article and set of recommendations is based purely off statistical analysis. With that being said, here is my list of the top offensive players and top pitchers for Fantasy Baseball 2013 (barring major trades/injuries/freak accidents that may occur between now and when the season starts…3 months from now).

Top Offensive Players:

1. R. Braun

2. M. Trout

3. M. Cabrera

4. A. McCutchen

5. A. Ramirez

6. A. Rios

7. C. Headley

8. E. Encarnacion

9. A. Beltre

10. P. Fielder

Top Pitchers:

1. R. Dickey (Tied for 1st, my comp just autocorrected to 1,2)

2. J. Weaver (Tied for 1st, my comp just autocorrected to 1,2)

3. D. Price

4. J. Verlander

5. M. Cain

6. G. Gonzalez

7. K. Lohse

8. J. Cueto

9. C. Hamels

10. C. Kershaw

Methodology: I’ll spare you from hearing all of the technical Excel steps I took, and just tell you conceptually what I did to come up with these lists. In order to determine the top offensive players and pitchers, I ranked the top 100 players in each of the four primary fantasy baseball stat categories (Batting Average, HR’s, RBI’s, and Stolen Bases for offense, and Wins, Saves, ERA, and WHIP for pitching) using their numbers from the 2012 regular season. Then, I took a simple average of their rankings across these four categories (since winning each category is worth the same as any other in fantasy baseball). Thus, having the lowest number in the end indicated that they were the best choice for fantasy baseball. For the sake of time and simplicity, I didn’t rank players past 100 in each category. Instead, I assigned them a ranking of 125 to indicate that they were outside the top 100, but not too big of a number that would ruin their chances of performing well even if they had a weakness in one stat category.

Again, these lists were put together solely through statistical analysis—any circumstances that are unique to any individual player have not been accounted for. It is also important to note that this analysis only looks at the four core stat categories for offense and pitching; many fantasy leagues use either five or six stat categories for each, so be sure to account for this if you are in such a league. Regardless, these lists should provide you a pretty good starting point for looking at players to draft for the upcoming season and if nothing else, help you avoid landing in the omnipresent sacko-bowl.

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